Burritt Bicentennial Celebration

The Burritt Library is commemorating the 200th Birthday of Elihu Burritt, New Britain’s most famous son, with a bicentennial celebration that includes lectures and tours.
Elihu Burritt was born in New Britain on December 8, 1810.  He became a world citizen, linguist, abolitionist, reformer, peace activist and penny postage advocate.  President Abraham Lincoln appointed him a Consular Agent to Birmingham, England.  He stayed attached to his hometown, and during his last years of his life became an active citizen.
For more information on Elihu Burritt visit our Burritt Collection page.

Upcoming Events

December 8, 2010 @ 2pm

Join us for a birthday party for Elihu Burritt in the Special Collections Reading Room at the library!

Sherrod Emerson Skinner III, the great-great-great grand nephew of Elihu Burritt, will deliver keynote remarks. Birthday cake and Burritt birch soda will be served!

Materials from the Elihu Burritt Collection will be on display through the month of December.

For more information about the Burritt Bicentennial celebration, please contact the library’s Special Collections Department at (860) 832-2085 or (860) 832-2086

Past Events

The opening event for the Burritt Bicentennial will take place on Wednesday, September 22 at 11:45 in the Special Collections Reading Room of the library.
September 22, 2010 – Opening Lecture,  “Elihu Burritt:  Nineteenth-Century Pioneer for Transatlantic Peace, Social Justice, and Human Rights”, by Wendy Chmielewski, Ph.D. on Burritt and the peace movement. Watch the lecture (Windows Media or Flip4Mac required).

Wendy Chmielewski is the George R. Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. The Peace Collection holds a significant set of materials on Elihu Burritt. Chmielewski’s work on the role of women in the U.S. and British nineteenth century peace movements has included exploring the participation of Elihu Burritt as well. She has published several works on the role of women in the peace movement and in intentional/utopian communities from the nineteenth century to the present. Her most recent publication (2009) is a co-edited collection of scholarly essays on Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, titled Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy.

Timeless Tales at Fairview Cemetery

October 21 & 22, 2010 – Timeless Tales of Fairview Cemetery (Sponsored by Stanley Works)

This year, on the occasion of Elihu Burritt’s 200th birthday, the public is invited to join New Britain’s own “learned blacksmith” as he leads visitors by lantern on an extraordinary tour through the “hallowed grounds” of Fairview Cemetery. This October Occurrence is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday, October 21 & 22, 6-8:45pm at Fairview Cemetery. Ticket Information is available on the New Britain Parks and Recreation website.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 @ Noon

Professor Robert Wolff

Lecture on Elihu Burritt’s role in the anti-slavery movement by Prof.  Robert Wolff,  CCSU History Dept.  The event will be held in the Special Collections Reading Room at noon. Additionally, material from the Elihu Burritt Collection will be on display in the library throughout the month of November. Watch the lecture (Windows Media or Flip4Mac required).

After the lecture, Dr. Gilbert Gigliotti will read from Taylor Graham’s book Walking with Elihu: poems on Elihu Burritt, The Learned Blacksmith


Audio Clips

Walking With Elihu CoverTaylor Graham Reads from her poetry collection Walking with Elihu. Now ON SALE in the CCSU Bookstore.

#1 “Ten Hours at the Forge”

# 2 “A Ship Goes Aground in Nantucket”

#3 “Fugitive”

#4 “For the German Workers”

#5 “Graces of an English Landscape”

#6 “Churchyard Meditations”

Video Clips

Birthday Party Celebration and Keynote Address, Dec. 8, 2010 (Windows Media plugin required)

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